As you may know I’m training for my first 50k. The training runs are starting to get longer. This weekend it was 18 miles on Friday. Friday! Don’t these training plan people know we have to work?? So I put an out of office appointment on my calendar and went in search of straightforward trails. One of the things that’s amazing about living in North Bend is that so many trails are so close. One of these is my favorite, the Ira Spring Trail up to Mason Lake. This leads to miles of trail leading to so many lakes.
- Distance: 18mi
- Elevation gain: 3700′
- Water: 2L
- Food: Handful of nuts, shot block bar
The Ira Spring trail is one of my all time favorite evening hikes. That comes from Martin, a fellow SAR member. It’s his favorite too, and it rubs off. I find Mason lake itself kinda meh. Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s always infested with mosquitos. And I hate mosquitos.
From here the highway of a trail narrows and leads to several more lakes. You arrive quickly at Sir Richard’s pond, which is super pretty. Grasses, lily pads, all that. On the shore of the lake I found very crisp bear and deer tracks. A reminder that we are simply visiting in their back yards.
I kept running past Island lake and opted to go down to Talapus rather than make a side trip to Pratt. I remember what the trail is like getting out of the Pratt lake basin shudder. The traverse under Pratt mountain is super runnable and a complete joy.
I arrived at Olallie lake, where I gained a friend for the rest of the way home. That friend was some kind of buzzing insect. That sucker did laps around me the entire way back to the car. Miles away from Olallie.
At Talapus I took a photo of these two dudes sitting on a log (I even asked if I could take their photo). This run was such a different experience from the weekend before. I was alone for (almost) my entire journey in the Teanaway. On this run I was never really alone. Every lake had people, and I passed by a bunch of people on the route.
After running out from Talapus I quickly found the Talapus an Olallie lake trailheads, with about 7.5 miles left to go. Ugh. Time to run the road. I don’t want to remember this part, except it was downhill (and then a little uphill) on a the forest service road back to where I parked my car at the Ira Spring trailhead. When I arrived the trip odometer had only recently ticked over 16 miles. So, I made my back up the Ira Spring trail (again!). I made my distance, turned around, and collapsed at the car. I did find how they clean the toilets. Septic dudes. Valuable service, but I didn’t want to be around while it was getting a pumpout.
All in all a very successful run. I made my distance, did it in pretty reasonable time, and only sorta screamed in pain.